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I just went outside to check my roses, Graham Thomas and Rouge Royal, and I was delighted to see the beginning of buds and new leaves.
I also noticed that the Graham Thomas canes bearing rose hips had no leaves or buds but the non hip bearing canes did. Now I'm wondering, should I have removed the rose hips? Should I remove them now? I also searched for information on pruning and see that it should be done in the Spring. Can anyone tell me how low down I should prune? Also, does anyone have helpful pruning tips?
Thanks in Advance:)
Some people base aesthetics when choosing where/how/etc to prune down. In an overgrown shrub you can go down 1/3 or more. Doing it during this time (when the plant is dormant) is usually best as it is easier to shape the plant when there is less foliage but, I would not prune now if the rose variety blooms only once in the Spring (yours do not).
As for hips, it should be fine to prune those hips now. I usually prune the hips off in the Fall to force more bloomage but, I noticed I missed one rose last year and it is full of orange hips now. No damage done. If the hips are NOT pruned during the growing season, the plant will then stop blooming and concentrate on the hips. Prune the hips now and nothing will happen. Prune more than that now and your pruning could trigger growth.
In my area, Valentine's Day is used as a "marker" to begin pruning roses but in other locations, you could wait until your early blooming shrubs begin blooming. For example, Flowering Quince and Forsythia are some I have here but, Quince just blooms too early sometimes (mid-Jan this year) & Forsythia later (has not bloomed yet). And yet, the roses started leaf out by late Jan/early Feb this year... sooooo I started pruning Feb 14th. Doing some more today.
There must be 40 gadzillions pruning tips out there. Below is a link to the American Rose Society's Articles Page. If you scroll down to the section titled Pruning Roses, you should see seven interesting articles with suggestions. Get some coffee and read some of them when you have time.
You can customize the pruning tips to local ones by visiting the Potomac Rose Society in MD (or join). I placed a link to one of their articles (on pruning) below.